I spent last Friday afternoon refreshing my mending and darning skills with Tom of Holland as part of a really interesting project taking place at Camberwell Space within the Camberwell College of the Arts.
The Department of Repair is an evolving project curated by Bridget Harvey, Michael Hurley, Karen Richmond and Maiko Tsutsumi exploring the art of ‘(re)making through fixing, mending and repairing.’ The first three weeks of the exhibition showcase a variety of approaches to mending with exhibits including tools and guides for repairing sitting alongside re-made, refreshed and repaired objects. In turn, these objects are the work of the curators and visiting craftspeople who are running a series of workshops so you can explore the art of mending for yourself. Items from the workshops, accompanied by writings from visitors and workshop attendees, will then be added to the existing exhibits to build a larger exhibition.
Makers, designers and repairers include furniture designer Hendzel and Hunt who works with reclaimed materials, leather worker Harry Owen and Tom of Holland amongst others. The exhibits, which exude a very deep beauty, are not only a fascinating look at how we can repair and mend everyday objects, but also how we can reuse reclaimed items for different purposes. It sparked a lot of thinking and reflection.
A few of my personal highlights from the exhibition include Tom of Holland’s stunning ‘Mum and Dad Sweater’:
The repair to the moth-eaten jumper is being made with the first handspun yarn by the owners wife.
It’s so true that looking at everyday objects in a gallery setting changes the way you view them.
Curator Bridget Harvey’s ‘Crockery’ explores repairs to plates with techniques including gluing, binding and boiling in milk:
There’s also a range of repair books and tools on display:
During the workshop we also got another look at Tom’s incredible patterned sweater which he is gradually adding to:
And I think I may have finally cracked darning:
The Department of Repair exhibition runs until Friday 30th January before continuing from 2nd February through to 20th February. You can find more details on The Department of Repair blog.